Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Summary: Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
Told in alternating chapters this novel follows Anne & “Teach.”
Both wish to leave their lives in England behind and start their adventures.
While they start off not liking each other, their relationship develops slowly and soon they can’t help but fall in love w/ each other.
Anne and Teach’s relationship develops from their love of literature/adventure, to the witty/passionate dialogue that gets exchanged between the 2!
During this time period, a relationship like theirs was not allowed. Knowing this, they still find themselves falling for each other.
With Nicole’s writing style each character was well-developed and reading like a well-loved classic, I definitely felt transported back in time. With each and every line, I felt more connected to Anne & Teach and definitely sensed their longing for adventure and freedom.
I also loved how Nicole discussed with such honesty serious topics in this novel (considering the time period), such as interracial relationships & social class!
Speaking of plot…
There is a lot that happens in this story, but each and every moment was memorable.
Teach’s father, strict but hardworking, loses sight of what is best for his son and focuses on getting him married.
Anne later reveals her family’s past and Master Drummond becomes her guardian. She becomes part of the upper class, but in doing so, Teach worries of what is to become of their relationship.
Teach fed up with what is expected of him, promises Anne they can finally be together. When all seems to go well, they become tragically separated.
Taking on the name Blackbeard, Teach is determined to find Anne and be with her.
The cliffhanger ending definitely tugs at your heartstrings!
While this origin story is quite sad, it was definitely a wonderful debut!
At points the pacing is slow, but it goes well with overall tone.
If you are looking for a romantic, character-driven story then I definitely recommend Blackhearts!